UNITE to Face Addiction Performer Lineup
WASHINGTON – The first-ever rally/event for addiction and recovery awareness will feature musical performances by Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler with his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, The Fray, and John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls; powerful, inspirational speakers from all walks of life who have been affected by addiction; and remarks by celebrities, elected officials and other advocates who will join together to change the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.
Facing Addiction, a new, national organization that will serve as a voice for the over 85 million Americans impacted by addiction, will host the free event on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Sunday, October 4, 2015. At the rally, Facing Addiction, along with over 450 diverse organizations from around the country, will launch the first-of-its-kind campaign to confront America’s denial about the most urgent health crisis facing our nation today – addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
“Together we must find solutions to the addiction crisis and put a face on the hope that survivors offer,” said health expert and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a PSA released today in support of the event. In addition to Dr. Oz, other notable individuals who have already embraced and endorsed this event include Congresswoman Mary Bono, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Author & Activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Author & TV Host Pat O’Brien, Entrepreneur and Music Producer Russell Simmons, former Major League Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry, Best-Selling Author William Cope Moyers, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Former Astronaut Steve Oswald and many more.
“UNITE to Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts 1 in 3 households,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction and a person in long-term recovery. “Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people – we all know somebody. It’s not ‘those’ people, it’s all of us.”
“When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America – and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every 4 minutes – the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors,” said Jim Hood, co-founder of Facing Addiction. “We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it’s time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions.”
Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. To donate to Facing Addiction, you can text FACING to 41444 or visit FacingAddiction.org, where you can also find more information including updates about the UNITE to Face Addiction rally. Please also visit and follow @FacingAddiction and #UNITEtoFaceAddiction on Twitter.
About Facing Addiction
The UNITE to Face Addiction rally is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state, and local non-profit organizations. For more information, visit FacingAddiction.org.
Media Contact: Dee Donavanik, [email protected], 202.695.8229
Live From DC, UNITE to Face Addiction!
Picture tens of thousands of people standing shoulder to shoulder on the National Mall. People in recovery from addiction, with their loved ones, families of loss, members of law enforcement, the faith community, educators, laborers, business people and college students, indeed, people of every color and orientation.
What a beautiful tapestry we’ll present to America on October 4, 2015 when individuals and families impacted by the addiction crisis gripping our nation descend on Washington, DC for UNITE to Face Addiction, a historic gathering to shine a light on, and demand solutions to, the addiction crisis.
The time has come to end the silence around addiction — to help the more than 22 million people currently addicted, to stand up for the 23 million more in recovery and to urgently try to save the estimated 350 lives lost each day.
Some will say, “It’s about time!” Others might not understand why we must gather on the Mall. The National Mall is not just any national park. It is a symbol of equal citizenship, unalienable rights and unity — three things missing today from the lives of more than 45 million Americans, and their loved ones, impacted by addiction.
These symbols worked powerfully when civil rights activists made the National Mall our country’s platform for sweeping social change. They worked when anti-war protesters regularly took a stand there. And they worked when the LGBTQ community “came out” on the Mall in a big way leading to the ultimate unveiling of the unforgettable AIDS quilt — and opened our hearts to another health and human rights crisis.
Overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States — more than car accidents or gun homicides. Simply put, addiction is a national health crisis, not a crime, and it deserves national attention and a unified response.
The prevalence of alcohol-related deaths and drug overdoses is no surprise to the more than 23 million who have found and sustained their recovery from addiction. I am one of those people in long-term recovery. Throughout my thirteen years of recovery, I have worn my black suit to a lot of friends’ funerals. Knowing my friends didn’t need to die — that their deaths could have been prevented — is almost as painful as losing them.
Preventing, much less ending, addiction is not simple, but neither is curing cancer, reducing heart disease or managing diabetes. However, we still find the collective will to search fearlessly and with faith to find better answers to these other devastating health conditions. Yet how we collectively react to addiction as a community and respond to it as a country are light years away from what we do for other health problems. As many have come to understand, we will never be able to incarcerate our way out of this problem.
Where is the outrage? Where is the public outcry about this needless loss of life, the devastating cost to our economy and the lack of an organized effort to provide the solutions? We can’t hear it because the silence is too loud.
At last this silence will end on 10.04.15.
UNITE to Face Addiction event is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state and local non-profit organizations.
Originally seen in the July 27th edition of HuffPost DC; written by Greg Williams, campaign director.